Police practice active shooter scenarios

Lincoln police officers are preparing themselves for life-threatening situations by running through simulations.

LPD officials say they conduct active shooter simulations every year as part of training. These are scenarios where an armed person is threatening or attacking others.

An active shooter call is one no police officer wants to get.

"We assume that there are or could be people losing their lives in progress," Sgt. Todd Beam said.

Beam says these are the kinds of situations where somebody is likely to get hurt, which is why officers need to practice responding quickly.

From Sunday through Tuesday, around 60 police men and women will be getting hands-on experience. Instructors set up realistic scenarios involving an armed person inside of a building. This year, the training sessions are taking place on Wesleyan University's campus.

"The officers have no idea what's going on in the building, they're not told beforehand," Beam said.

The goal is to find and respond to the threat as quickly and safely as possible. Although real bullets aren't used, the officers can be hit with paint balls called "simunition" that sound like real gunfire. Officers running through the simulation are required to wear protective face masks.

Besides the suspect, police also have to deal with panicked or injured individuals, and sometimes hostages, as part of the scenario.

In recent years, officers had to use active shooter tactics for a high school stabbing. They had to clear Pius X High School after a junior girl attacked a classmate with a knife and hammer back in 2013.

Beam says officers of all experience levels are required to run through the training sessions every year. Active shooter situations don't just refer to somebody armed with a gun, it could be any weapon.

Originally posted March 22, 2015 by KLKN